Sunday, 26 June 2016

My Summer Wishlist

Inspired by the wonderful Jess over at Cake, Crumbs and Pages I wanted to write my own Summer Wishlist. As you know from yesterdays post I am on a 100 day spending ban. This means that shopping will be off my summer list, but I am looking forward to getting some things sorted! 

I am going to be working monday to wednesday night all summer and so my weekends are going to be my time and I am looking forward to spending a lot of time with Tom. So what do I plan to achieve this summer?

- Go on a picnic

- Read more body positive books and blogs

- Make my bedroom into the perfectly chilled zone I have been hoping for

-  Make a dent in both paying off my credit card and my house savings

- Launch my fashion blog Shoestring Chic 

- Go on some long walks

- Do more Yoga

- Spend more time with my family and friends

- Make our kitchen an easier area to work in

- Shop my stash and donate any products I am not using to family and friends

- Cook more and perhaps even cook outside on the barbecue

 - Enjoy myself!

What are your plans for your summer?

Friday, 24 June 2016

Spending Ban: 100 days with no clothes, shoes, accesories or homeware.

Two little words that you have seen before on the blog. Spending Ban. I have realised lately that while I am getting better at saving money (seeing it stack up in my Help to Buy ISA helps) I am still spending a lot of money on silly things that I really dont need. 

Having spent the last few days trying and failing to declutter my house I realise that I just have far too much stuff and I keep buying more and more. Once I am more organised I am going to attempt to rekindle my wear my wardrobe challenge, and asess every few months what I am really wearing and what I am not.

I have been really good and so far this year I have cut down dramatically on the amount fo toiletries I own. I used to be a sucker for buying things I saw on offer and then realising when I got home I already had three of the same product. I haven't kept up with my empties posts though and this is something that I will be restarting this month.

Another way we as a couple waste a lot of money is by not meal planning. We tend to buy convenience (and far too many takeaways which is not good for our health) and this is something I intend to work on. 

So from today I am not buying anymore clothes, shoes, accesories or homeware for 100 days. This will take my up until October 1st. That seems like a bloody long time, especially when in that time I am going to London! But I can do this, I need to do this! I came across this concept on Rachels blog here

The only one exception to the above is that it is my birthday in July, and any money I get from my family I am allowed to spend.

Do you blog about saving and cutting down? I would love to read it! Please leave me your links below

Thursday, 23 June 2016

The FODMAP Elimination Diaries ... Take Two.

So lets do this again shall we?

If you read this post, you will know that I attempted the FODMAP Elimination diet last month, however things got on top of me, I failed to plan and I found myself either not eating at all or eating things that I knew would make me ill but I was just so hungry that I couldn't stop myself. So this time I am going to take the bull by the horns, but only take a few days at a time so that I am not putting myself under too much pressure.

I have two FODMAP diet books by Dr Sue Sheppard, the monash app, and a cupboard full of safe foods. Starting today I will be putting pictures of every meal on my Instagram (charlottefodmapfoodie) and I will be back weekly with an update, how does that sound?

Lets recap my current symptoms:

Bloating - to the excess that I look pregnant.

Bowel Troubles - Switching between C+D symptoms almost daily. I used to only have D but I think I may have taken a bit too much loperamide recently.

Anxiety - caused mostly by the worry of leaving the safety of anywhere with a toilet

Itchy rash on my hands - which had disappeared when I was doing FODMAP before.

I intend to do this for a few weeks until my symptoms settle and then I will be starting the re introduction phase. I probably wont be eating out during this time but if I do I will be sure to review the FODMAP friendly options around!!

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Lets Talk Body Image Shall We?

I am sitting here on the last night of my holiday, iPod in hand, typing out this post because I couldn't not.

Having spent the last few weeks trying to kind of dip my toe into the body positive community I felt scared. Was I really going to start to love my body, just the way it was or was that just a cop out for a failed serial dieter? 

I've struggled with knowing where I fit in in the fashion blogging community too. I've always loved fashion and charity shopping (secret confession: I'd love to be a stylist) but I've felt my size was an issue to be a fashion blogger.

I've followed countless plus size bloggers who have truly curvy bodies, huge boobs and hips but a nipped in waist. This isn't me. 

Let's get this out there in the open:

I constantly get asked if I'm pregnant and when the baby is due. 

A mixture of genetics and my IBS means that a lot of the time I'm bloated. I have near non existent boobs and a huge, usually bloated belly. 

I have spent this holiday listening to Jes Bakers things no one will tell fat girls and her attitude is refreshing. Not only does she talk about how even the plus size community isn't all inclusive yet (and states that body positivity is inclusive of ALL BODIES) but she makes it clear that the notion of healthy is the new currency in our society which can be just as exclusive.

Living with chronic pain, fibromyalgia, IBS, depression and anxiety my body may not be described as healthy but I am trying my hardest to look after it. I am figuring out what kind of diet I need to keep my body helping (and spoiler alert I think dairy may have to go ...) and I am trying to start moving when I can! 

What I am more sure of than ever is that I am going to start wearing what I want! I posted the image below on Instagram this week (shoestringchicblog) and was overwhelmed by the comments and messages I received, all positive too

There I am in a green maxi dress, belly an all. I'm not going to say I was totally confident in the dress, I wasn't. But I was comfortable. 

So what happens now? I have a few more audiobooks I wish to devour (and I strongly recommend that you either read or listen to things no one will tell fat girls by Jes Baker aka The Militant Baker

I also intend to make this blog and especially my new fashion blog (shameless plug - Shoestring Chic) have a strong body positive tone. I will be wearing what I want, and not letting the fact that I am the owner of a fat body stop me in any way. Life is too short to spend one more second doing anything but loving my body, and I'd really love to see some of my friends loving themselves a lot more too 

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Discovering Charlotte Unplugged.

I'm unplugging.

Since being introduced to the internet years and years ago I don't think I have ever spent a day without it. From my days as a teen when I was allowed a couple of euros on holiday to use the computer in the hotel lounge to message my friends through myspace.

So, during my holiday (as you read this I will be on the plane) I will not be using social media. I will not be blogging, facebooking, tweeting, instagramming ...

I will be taking photos, listening to music, doing yoga, reading, writing in an actual journal and just really focussing on me and what I want from life.

I'm going to recharge my metaphorical batteries and I look forward to telling you about my holiday when I get back.


Sunday, 12 June 2016

Tiger bargain sunnies

I am the first to admit that Charity Shopping has spoilt me. I have got used to spending £5 or less on dresses. I have got used to being able to find Jewellery for less than £1. So, when this year I had in my head the kind of sunglasses that I wanted you'll forgive me for thinking I would be able to buy them easily.

So when less than a week to go to my holiday I was still searching for the perfect sunnies I was at a bit of a loss. I had seen some heart shaped Monki ones on asos for £10 and was going to purchase them ... but when I went back they disappeared. I was all ready to give up and just pop to primark and settle for whatever when I popped into tiger (to look for a headphone splitter actually)

I picked up those pairs straight away and while trying to decide between them noticed they were only FOUR ENGLISH POUNDS a pair. So of course I ran to the till with both pairs! Whats more is they come with a little pouch to! Very impressed!

Friday, 10 June 2016

Sometimes You End Up In The Dark ...

The worst thing about depression in my opinion is how you can suddenly be catapulted back into the dark even when you having seemingly good times. Two nights ago, after a lovely night out with the hubby I found myself questioning some personal things, from years ago actually and found myself deep in a dark hole.

I wrote a post about it, which I have decided not to share, but actually just getting it written down helped. I also got talking to Tania and Kirsty who both helped me to feel a little better before I went to bed and I wanted to thank them (oh go and check out their blogs because they are actual babes. 

Yesterday I had to go to work and today I have taken a few naps.

My pain level has been high enough to be waking me up at night, and just in the interests of full disclosure here I think I have a UTI. Which, you know is always the case right before my holiday ...

However I now have two more shifts before I go and I fully intend to relax on my holiday (I said to Kirsty I will be flatlayed on a sunbed as soon as i get there ... Lets just ignore the fact we arrive in the middle of the night)

I hope you are all ok, and remeber that you are never alone!